Link of the Week
Public health falls victim to spending cuts, figures show
Cuts to public health budgets have led to significant reductions in the availability of local support for smoking cessation, obesity, drug and alcohol addiction, and sexual health.
Labour analysed data published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and found that 130 of 152 local councils are spending less on public health this year than in 2017-18. Smoking cessation budgets are set to be cut by £3.4 million in 88 councils.
Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said: “Local services which are there to keep people well and out of hospital are to be slashed in every part of England. These cuts to public health budgets will leave people sicker and, in the long run, will cost the NHS much more than they save.”
Shirley Cramer, the chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, said the cuts would “have a devastating impact on the longer-term health of our nation. Cuts to sexual health, stop smoking and drug misuse services will save money in the short term, but will cost far more over coming decades.”
Source: The Guardian, 20 September 2018
Tobacco display ban linked to fewer children buying cigarettes
New research published in the Journal of Tobacco Control shows that the removal of tobacco product displays from shops may have reduced the proportion of children buying cigarettes by up to 17%. The display of tobacco products at the point of sale was banned in all shops the UK in 2015.
However, the researchers from Imperial College London’s School of Public Health also found that over two thirds of child smokers had not been refused cigarettes when they last attempted to buy them.
Dr Anthony Laverty, lead author of the study, said: “We know that smoking kills one in every two smokers, and that children who smoke are likely to continue smoking throughout their lifetime, seriously increasing their risk of disease… This research provides evidence that the introduction of display bans will be an effective measure against children smoking – and could help save them from starting a deadly habit.”
Source: ITV, 21 September 2018
UK to Fall Short of UN Target for Reducing Premature Deaths from Non-Communicable Diseases
A study published in The Lancet has found that 46% of countries (for women) and 52% (for men) are likely to miss the UN target for reducing deaths from Non-Communicable Diseases (NDCs) by one third by 2030. NCDs are non-infectious conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes, and are heavily influenced by factors including smoking, obesity and alcohol and drug use.
Only 35 nations are projected to meet the target, with the UK likely to fall short unless the rate of NCD decline increases. A 30-year-old woman in the UK has a 9% chance of dying from the four key NDCs before her 70th birthday, compared to a 13% chance for a 30-year old man.
Professor Majid Ezzati, lead author of the study, said: “Non-communicable diseases are the main cause of premature death for most countries. Treatment of hypertension and controlling tobacco and alcohol use alone can prevent millions of deaths from cancer, heart disease, stroke and other NCDs. But there is also a need for affordable high-quality care to diagnose and treat chronic diseases as early as possible.”
Source: Care Appointments, 21 September 2018
Link of the Week
Public Health England has launched its annual Stoptober campaign which starts next week. The campaign is accompanied by a wide range of resources which inform smokers about the support available to help them quit.